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Regarding vehicle safety, there are no bigger names in the safety industry than the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS. The IIHS, in particular, is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing death, injury, and property damage from motor vehicle crashes. The IIHS achieves this goal by using rigorous safety evaluations that are reviewed and then posted for the public to review.

In recent years, the IIHS has become even more strict with its safety evaluations, leading some vehicles to receive updated safety scores after they are already published. This keeps the public as safe as possible, ensuring that vehicles already released are still held to the same safety standards as brand-new vehicles. One vehicle that recently received an updated safety score is the 2022 Honda Pilot. Here is everything you need to know about the updated score given to the 2022 Honda Pilot from the IIHS and why it was changed.

The 2022 Honda Pilot received high scores from the NHTSA

A gray 2022 Honda Pilot Sport midsize SUV model driving on a mountain highway
2022 Honda Pilot Sport | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

According to U.S. News, the 2022 Honda Pilot was a top-scoring vehicle in crash protection, with a four out of five score in frontal crash tests and rollover tests, a five-star rating in side crash protection, and five stars overall. Sadly, the Honda Pilot did not fare so well regarding safety ratings from the IIHS.

According to the IIHS, the Pilot received “good” ratings in crashworthiness regarding head restraints and seats, roof strength, and driver’s side small overlap tests. Initially, other categories received good scores as well. However, after an updated evaluation, the 2022 Honda Pilot received “marginal” scores in the side crashworthiness test and the worst possible rating of “poor” in moderate front overlap tests.

What made these scores go down so drastically?

The IIHS reported that the moderate front overlap test was updated for this past year. Consumer Reports’ Emily Thomas explains that for years, rear passenger safety standards have lagged behind what is truly seen on roads today. From 2007 onward, passengers in a vehicle’s back seat have a 46% higher chance of injury than passengers in the front seats. This is because most rear passengers are young children or babies in car seats.

A Hybrid III dummy has been incorporated for this new test, simulating a young woman or 12-year-old child positioned in the second row behind the driver. What caused the 2022 Honda Pilot to receive such a low score was the strict metrics of the test. For a vehicle to obtain a good rating in this new test, there must be no evidence that a dummy would sustain any injury from a collision that would affect rear passengers. In the future, many SUVs will need to update their safety restraints to pass this test with some safety devices consisting of seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters for the outboard second-row seating positions.

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